On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> In the normal use of the word "control" a deterministic system can
>> control things. For example, an automatic pilot can control the plane.
> An automatic pilot only controls the plane to the extent that it extends
> human intentions to control the plane. The automatic pilot can just as
> easily be set to crash the plane into a mountain as soon as possible and it
> won't know the difference or care.

Similarly with the human. He has been programmed by his genes
interacting with the environment. If the programming goes awry,
whether due to genetic or environmental factors, he might do something
erratic, such as try to kill himself. This happens not infrequently.

>> It's not impossible to care. I could care if I have the winning
>> lottery ticket if I know it has been drawn but not yet revealed.
> Only because you live in a universe where winning the lottery is meaningful
> for you because it represents the opportunity to amplify your own free will.
> If there were only determinism, winning the lottery could not possibly
> matter to you.

The lottery *is* determined, I *know* it's determined, yet I still
care about whether I have won or not. Therefore caring and determinism
are not mutually exclusive.

>> Not at all, the fundamental physics may be the same but in one case a
>> person can assess the situation and change his behaviour while in the
>> other case he can't. The automatic pilot is broken.
> Under what circumstances is a an automatic pilot legally responsible for its
> actions? Can an automatic pilot be put in prison for failing at a critical
> moment? Why not?

Because its intelligence is extremely limited. Infants aren't put into
prison either for this reason, even though they have free will. When
automatic pilots develop to the point where they can have a normal
conversations with people on a variety of topics then they will
probably be held legally responsible and punished, assuming they are
not so intelligent that they take over to prevent us doing this.

>> > No judge could make any judgment against a person if they really
>> > believed
>> > that everything must be determined or random. That would mean that their
>> > judgments would also be deterministic or random, so that they would not
>> > be a
>> > judge at all, but rather a pawn of "inevitable and necessary
>> > consequences of
>> > antecedent states of affairs."
>> >
>> > Judgment is impossible under determinism.
>> In that case judges are deluded about making judgements - but it
>> doesn't deter them.
> Your invisible floating castle has plumbing problems.

What do you think we would find if we surveyed judges on this topic?

Stathis Papaioannou

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